The Aston Villa star also spoke about his experience of racism, including abusing his teammates this summer
Aston Villa and England defender Tyrone Mings said his mental health “collapsed” at the European Championships when he spoke about his struggles and experiences with racism this summer.
Mings admitted he felt singled out at this summer’s tournament due to his lack of England experience, which led to many doubting him before starting the first two games of the competition in place of the injured Harry Maguire.
During this time, Mings admitted that it took a lot of work with his psychologist to get him into a mental state that would enable him to conquer the field for his country.
What did Mings say?
“I had a difficult time leading up to the opening game against Croatia,” he said in an interview with The sun.
“I think I’m a lot more hardened against outside influences now, but my mental health has declined. And I’m not ashamed to admit that because there were so many strangers that I went to this game.
“I was probably the only name on the team sheet that people thought ‘not sure about’. And that was something I had to overcome.
“So I worked on it a lot with my psychologist. I have been given many coping mechanisms – be it breathing, meditation, or just learning to get yourself into the present moment.
“It was tough. I didn’t sleep really well before that first game.”
One person Mings identified as a potential weak link was former England star Rio Ferdinand, who had pre-tournament concerns about the Aston Villa star due to his lack of Champions League experience.
But Mings won Ferdinand before all was said and done, and the defender personally revealed the former Manchester United star to admit he was wrong.
“Rio gave me a DM after the tournament. He said I was the weak link and Croatia should go after me, “he said
“He sent me a message saying, ‘Great response – it was your performance on the pitch.’ What a nice guy.
“It’s just great that we are now playing at a time when you can talk about mental health and how you feel.”
Ming’s experience of racism
Mings was frank about his fight against racism when he recently criticized Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel’s lack of support for the players who went down on their knees in protest.
After England lost to Italy in the final this summer, Mings watched teammates Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka face racial abuse after missing their penalties in the crucial penalty shoot-out.
And Mings says he wasn’t surprised to hear that some had turned on his teammates in heartbreak on social media after the tournament ended.
“It’s always annoying. It’s horrible to say, but it’s nothing new, ”he said. “It’s not surprising. But it is not and should never be accepted. I think we all spoke to these players after the game because we had just lost the tournament and they were devastated by the penalties.
“We weren’t even aware of the racist abuse at the time. We could just see how upset they were, how they felt like they had let people down. But that’s never the case when you step up and take a penalty. If you put yourself in this situation, you should never be misused for the result. “
Mings went on to describe his own experience of racism, including an incident where he was stopped by police near his hometown.
“I was stopped in my car a couple of times by the police,” he said.
“I was in Chippenham – that’s where I grew up, you might think they would know better – but they stopped me and said something about my car not being allowed here and wanted to know why I was in the area . I mean, I’ve been in a Range Rover, which pretty much certainly isn’t illegal.
“I’ve also had some subtle things like being in the shops and getting weird looks, things like that. But I don’t think we’re in a time when it’s as bad as it used to be. And we’re the way I have the happiness of living in a world where we are not jailed for our beliefs or the color of our skin. “